So, I’m reading Walden by Henry David Thoreau right now.  What a cool book. Here’s one of the quotes from the book that really resonated with me this morning:

“The student who secures his coveted leisure and retirement by systematically shirking any labor necessary to man obtains but an ignoble and unprofitable leisure, defrauding himself of the experience which alone can make leisure fruitful.

“Translation to MikeSpeak: “work is what makes playtime fun.”

I’ll share more on my thoughts as I keep reading the book, but I quite liked this one.


US Monetary Policy Video

This video is kind of long, but if you’ve got 9 minutes to spend, I think it’s a good summary of something that’s wrong with our country and how it needs to be fixed.

Yeah, it’s a hemi.

The last couple of days have managed to stip me of a good part of the remaining dignity I’ve been desperately holding on to, since I got married and started raising children. Before I continue, let me caution anyone who isn’t interested in hearing a very personal story about my nether regions. Consider yourself warned.

I woke up the other morning with a nice, burning, itching sensation ‘down there.’ You know, on my bung hole. I came to eventually learn that yep, it was a hemi (hemorrhoid, that is). I know hemorrhoids are one of those things that nobody wants to talk about, like menstruation, the state of our retirement system, or the fact that grandma is going crazy, but I know I can’t be the only person to have to suffer this kind of humiliating and painful condition, so I thought I’d share my experience, just for the sake of solidarity.

As my conditioned worsened and I learned how little fun it is to go number 2 with a raging sphincter-blimp, I decided to gear up for a covert mission to the drug store and pick up some of that Preparation-H stuff I’ve heard about. It wasn’t something I was looking forward to, but I figured it couldn’t be any more embarrassing than having to buy feminine hygiene products for my wife. Plus, I’m a man, right? I can handle going to the store to buy hemorrhoid cream without getting flustered, right? I just have to get in, find the medicine and get out. No problem.

When I got to the medicine aisle, though, my carefully orchestrated plan fell to pieces. There I found 4 women busy stocking the shelves. As I squeezed between them all, looking up an down the aisle for the magical solution to my problem, one of the four, a nice old lady with unnaturally red hair, asked if she could help me find anything. I was obviously lost, but I hung my head and said, ‘no, thanks,’ as if I were just perusing the medicines to see if there might be anything I wanted to experiment with. I berated myself for being a chicken, but when the next lady at the other end of the aisle asked me the same thing, I couldn’t accept her help, lest it call even more attention to my plight. Finally I spotted the Preppy-H, but then I had to stand there and choose from among the 17 different brands, sizes and varieties available. I’m incapable of buying anything that I’m not sure is the best value, so it took me a minute of enduring what I was sure was the quiet chuckles of the helpful old crones, but I finally settled on a nice, maximum strength, green tube of creme.

Luckily there was an older gentleman cashier available at the check-out, one who I was sure would not judge me and laugh at my pain. I quickly checked out and headed home, where I got to enjoy the application of the product I had so endeavored to purchase, and find out that said product doesn’t actually do anything to cure my condition or relieve the pain of it. What a wonderful life.

So, if you see me hobbling around the next few days, like I’ve just been out riding fences, you’ll know why. It’s just God’s way of knocking me down a peg or two. As if ear hair wasn’t enough.

Please, steal my Wi-Fi

   When I got my new DSL internet connection last year and set up my first wireless network in my home, I was faced with the choice of what kind of security to use.  Do I go with WEP, WPA, WPA2, or some other obscure acronym?  I opted for none.  I say, “Share the Wealth.”  My brother thinks I’m stupid and that I’m leaving myself open for hackers and spammers and such.  Bring it on.
   To me, it is much more important to be a good neighbor and share my internet connection with anyone nearby who may need it.  If I’m already paying for a certain amount of bandwith anyway, it may as well get used.  It doesn’t cost me any extra, and I feel like I’m getting my money’s worth.  It’s just common courtesy and I think everyone should do it.  Plus, have you ever brought your laptop over to a friend’s house and had to screw around with WEP keys that nobody remembers just to try to get an internet connection to check your email or something?  What a pain! 
   As for security, I think there are much easier ways for people to steal from me than parking outside my home and trying to hack into my network to get my passwords or a copy of my will or something.  If I were a hacker or spammer I would just go to a coffee shop or the airport or anywhere else with open Wi-Fi, and it would be a lot more convenient.  Plus, I already have to secure my laptop for those times when I am out on a public network, so it’s no different in my own home.  Just put up a good firewall, understand that nothing is fool-proof, and get on with your life.
   So, in conclusion, if anybody wants to come over to my house and steal my Wi-Fi, be my guest.  I’ll just tell the RIAA, when they come calling, that it was you downloading all those Metallica albums.